Letoa is a hunter!

And the Manaia spirit guardian appears to be itching for battle as well. Maori or Norse, Letoa’s bloodlines suit it well.

Something cool I learned about the Manaia is that it apparently lives mostly outside our dimension — the small section of it that we can perceive is always in sort of a strange profile, though it is constantly moving and changing shape. Imagine a two-dimensional “flatland” world, with a three-dimensional human going through it. We could look down on their world and see them looking at our midsection, but all they’d see is a strange cross-section of human abdomen, like an MRI image. That’s how the Manaia, which is apparently four-dimensional, appears to us in three dimensions.

This strikes me as a rather awesomely cool and sophisticated concept, especially coming from a culture that never even had a written language. Makes you wonder if aliens were involved.

And I love Max’s artistic interpretation of it. It’s reputedly a sea-entity also, so he requested some water-splash imagery to go with the art. Happy to oblige.

Also, in case you missed it last week: New Vote Incentive! 

More below!



My Fifteen Minutes of Humiliation


Okay, this is my motorcycle story. If you are a Hollywood person, you may even have heard of it, although my name never made it to the legend.

As a young man in Hollywood, I dabbled briefly with the idea of being an actor. This wasn’t so much a dramatic life choice as just something that happened to almost everyone in Hollywood at some point. Like, if you lived in the Sacramento area in 1849, you’d probably have tried prospecting for gold, at least once. You’re there, it’s all around you, you hear the success stories, you give it a try. Then you discover that it is harder than you thought and go back to your day job. Or in my case…

I auditioned for a motorcycle commercial. You always went out on every audition, even if it was for something you knew nothing about. “Can you freehand climb a thousand-foot cliff?” “Sure, no problem.” If you actually got a callback, there was generally time to get in a fast lesson or two.

But we were assured this wasn’t that kind of motorcycle commercial. We were just supposed to be admiring the bike, whatever it was. Well, I could do that. And for whatever reason, I got a callback. Me and five other guys.

Well, this was very exciting. But at the callback, they announced that we might actually have to do some riding. Maybe, maybe not. But just to be sure, they wanted us to ride the bike through the casting agency parking lot, turn around, and come back. Okay, now I got nervous. But I’d ridden a couple of small motorcycles before; basically scooters and small dirt bikes. How hard could it be?

They took us out to the lot and announced I would go first.

And there, waiting in the extremely crowded casting agency parking lot was the biggest, blackest, most malevolent-looking motorcycle I’d ever seen. I believe it was the Kawasaki 1100, just coming out that year. It looked like a freaking Gundam.

Well, I knew just enough to be able to get on, start it up, get it off the kickstand, put it into gear, and slooooowly easy out on the clutch while giving the throttle just the teensiest hair of a twist.

And that big screaming monster took off like a rocket, went twenty feet slightly faster than lightspeed, and scraped end-to-end across the casting director’s brand-new Mercedes sedan, peeling paint and metal off the rear fender, rear door, front door, front fender, and ripping off the front headlight before I could bring it to a stop.

I managed to get it back on the kickstand, shakily got off, removed my helmet, and looked back at the casting director, his assistant, and the other actors, all of whom were just staring with their jaws agape.

“I don’t think this job’s for me,” I said, and walked off.

I had no money and they knew it; there was no question of suing me or anything. But that was it for me and acting.

However, I later learned that the story became famous — in fact, I accidentally overhead some producers telling it in a bar, years later. My name was not mentioned, thank goodness. But if you’ve ever heard it — that was me.

And as some form of compensatory mechanism, this page features Letoa, naturally being every bit as cool as I wish I could have been that day.

Yeah. Living the dream.

— Bob out